In ultrasound image analysis, the speckle tracking methods are widely applied to study the elasticity of body tissue. However, “feature-motion decorrelation” still remains as a challenge for the speckle tracking methods. Recently, a coupled filtering method and an affine warping method were proposed to accurately estimate strain values, when the tissue deformation is large. The major drawback of these methods is the high computational complexity. Even the graphics processing unit (GPU)-based program requires a long time to finish the analysis. In this paper, we propose field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based implementations of both methods for further acceleration. The capability of FPGAs on handling different image processing components in these methods is discussed. A fast and memory-saving image warping approach is proposed. The algorithms are reformulated to build a highly efficient pipeline on FPGA. The final implementations on a Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA are at least 13 times faster than the GPU implementation on the NVIDIA graphic card (GeForce GTX 580).
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